racial justice ministry team (RJMT)

The Racial Justice Ministry Team (RJMT) was established in 2007 by Bishop Gerard Knoche to carry out commitments made in the 1993 ELCA Social Statement, Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture.

Racial justice ministry is about being inclusive, not exclusive, to create a climate of peace, justice, freedom and dignity that embraces all people. A climate that provides opportunities for growth, leadership, empowerment and advocating for policies and programs that are socially and racially just.

I call on members of this church of all races to remember and give thanks for those who have gone before us, especially those who have suffered from racism and injustice, and to stand in opposition to this evil spreading across our country.
-from the 2007 Racial Justice Statement

Mark Hanson

Former Presiding Bishop

Racial Justice Statements and Assumptions

  • We are all imago dei [in the image of God], but we all fall short of the glory of God. But in this context and in this DE-MD synod, white privilege sustains the sin of racism.
  • We do this work as people of God: God’s work. Our hands.
  • We trust that God is working a new creation in and through us so we will come to appreciate all the varieties of gifts we possess among us. (1 Corinthians 12)
  • There is a purpose and a reason why we are all different, and we are enriched by our collective voices.
  • White people and people of color have work to do around education concerning the impact of racism, and around healing. However, we may need to do so within our own cultural contexts to meet differing needs.
  • We need to be accountable to each other.
  • In its institutional form, racism allows those of European descent to push others to the margins and not only maintain their privilege and status unconsciously, but pressure others into remaining silent about the realities of race relations, even in the Church.